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Watch: Spartans must keep fighting if they are to win the league title, says coach Buttigieg

Ħamrun Spartans players celebrate Seydou Doumbia's winner against Hibernians. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Ħamrun Spartans coach Mark Buttigieg has told his players to show the same fighting if their dream of winning the league is to become reality.

The Ħamrun Spartans coach was speaking to the Times of Malta in the aftermath of their crucial 1-0 win over Hibernians on Saturday that put the Reds five points clear at the top of the Premier League standings.

Coach Mark Buttigieg gives his views after Ħamrun Spartans win over Hibernians. Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

Saturday’s highly-awaited match left much to be desired in terms of entertainment as both sides looked affected by the big occasion, however, a last-gasp penalty goal by Seydou Doumbia earned the team three crucial points that moved them closer to the league title.

“It was a very tactical game where both sets of defensives had the upperhand on the opposing forwards,” Buttigieg said.

“Although we weren’t so good when pushing forward, however, we were tactically very disciplined. It’s not easy to play against a strong team like Hibernians who boast a lot of quality in their ranks, particularly when they are between the lines and can easily hurt you with their movement.

“But we were very organised and there were moments we held the edge and others when Hibs were on top. But in the closing stages we were awarded a clear penalty and had another that was not given to us and I think the win was a fair reward to the players for the grit and determination they showed throughout.”

Despite having a five-point lead over Hibernians with seven matches to go, Buttigieg is taking nothing for granted.

“Having a five-point lead at the top is a good buffer but one has to remember that we must keep our feet firmly rooted to the ground as there are still 21 points up for grabs and everything can happen,” the Gozitan coach said.

“We have another seven matches and we must approach them as if it is a final. Now we must turn our focus on our next match against Żejtun Corinthians and it’s important that we are focused and show the same spirit we displayed in the last few matches.

“If we are to make what we are dreaming of a reality we must show the same spirit and determination.”

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